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Newly elected Cork Business Association President, Eoin O'Sullivan, at M&P O'Sullivan, Sarsfield Road, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan
Newly elected Cork Business Association President, Eoin O'Sullivan, at M&P O'Sullivan, Sarsfield Road, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan
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Coronavirus latest: 115-year-old Cork business warns of impact on trade

Newly elected president of Cork Business Association (CBA), Eoin O’Sullivan, has said that the spread of coronavirus could be “detrimental” to his food business.

Mr O’Sullivan co-manages M&P O’Sullivan, a family-owned food service business, which has been trading in Cork city for over 115 years.

The 29-year-old is the youngest ever elected president of the CBA.

Speaking about the potential effects that coronavirus would have on his business, which employs 55 people in Cork, Mr O’Sullivan said: “All we can do is take the precaution because if we had to close our business here it would be detrimental. The show must go on.

“We already have had meetings about the coronavirus and the effects it might have on our business. We have hand sanitizers all over the place here and we’re supplying gloves and making sure everyone is clean.

Eoin O'Sullivan, at M&P O'Sullivan, Sarsfield Road, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan
Eoin O'Sullivan, at M&P O'Sullivan, Sarsfield Road, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan

“I’ve had visions of myself, my cousin and my uncle in here making orders and driving trucks but look, I hope it doesn’t come to that,” he said.

Mr O’Sullivan believes there is cause for concern surrounding the virus and that there will be “some effect” on the economy.

“I do think it will have effects, it already has had an effect on the air industry, so I do think there will be challenges.

“I think people will avoid travelling, they will avoid booking holidays, and this is a prime time now for people booking holidays.

“Even the fact that the Italy and Ireland rugby match has been cancelled. That’s huge and that’s going to affect Dublin majorly.

“But from the likes of SARS and things like that, there was a massive surge afterwards. I think we will get over the coronavirus and we’ll see a surge again but there’s no doubt about it that there will be some effect on the economy due to coronavirus,” he said.

Mr O’Sullivan said that he hopes that the spread of the virus can be controlled and that nobody in the country is affected “too badly”.

“These things do take a big toll on business so ultimately there will be an effect from the coronavirus but hopefully we can get it under control and hopefully there’s nobody affected too badly in our country,” he said.